SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – This is not what quarterback Jake Bentley expected when he decided to transfer from South Carolina to Utah for his senior year.
Bentley competed in just a couple of spring practices in early March, and then everything got shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For spring break, I packed for a week and ended up staying here three months,” Bentley said via Zoom from his home in South Carolina. “So, I’m ready, I’m ready to get back. It’s felt like forever not being there, especially for me. I was just getting accustomed to a new culture and a new environment.”
Once players are allowed to return to campus, which could be as early as June 1st, Bentley will compete for the starting job with Cam Rising and Drew Lisk. While missing out on spring ball hurts, Bentley has three years of SEC experience with South Carolina under his belt to help him as he learns the new Utah terminology in daily meetings with coaches.
“We’re just trying to continue to develop our offense, our knowledge of the playbook, especially for me,” Bentley said. “Drew and Cam have been here and they know more than I do. But I think we’re all three still learning. When we come back, if we have three weeks to prepare for a game, then we’ve got three weeks. If we’ve got six weeks, we’ve got six weeks. So whatever they throw at us, we’ll be ready.”
While he wishes he could be working on timing with the Utah receivers, Bentley is able to work out with his little brother and some old South Carolina teammates.
“As we got rolling and were able to get more guys in groups, everything was kind of safe,” Bentley said. “It really was just an opportunity for me to keep my arm fresh, keep it rolling and throw the routes as similar as they’ll be when I get back to Utah.”
Even though he is 2,000 miles away, Bentley is trying to build a bond with his new teammates, including center Orlando Umana.
“I saw the Buccaneers center [Ryan Jensen] tweet something about what Tom Brady told him about the towel and putting baby powder on it, so his butt don’t sweat,” Bentley said. “So, I sent it to Orlando just joking with him. So, just little things like that just to stay in touch.”